Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Coming Distractions: August 2011 on TCM

The Greatest Cable Channel Known to Mankind™ (ka-ching!) got their tentative August 2011 schedule up fast…but not, I cannot stress enough, in the span of time between this post and the previous one I did discussing the highlights of July.  You see, I have sort of been holding onto the July schedule for a little over a week or two hoping they would fill in some missing gaps in the schedule and while the people who maintain the website did in a couple of instances it’s still missing a few pieces of the puzzle (like the disappearance of July 31).  But there’s enough present and accounted for in the August lineup to allow me to squeeze out a post because the last of the summer months is traditionally set aside for the channel’s Summer Under the Stars celebration, and what I have done in the past is give you a rundown on which stars will be…um, summering, I guess…and which of their films to be shown on the day will soon find themselves most assuredly welcome in the dusty Thrilling Days of Yesteryear archives.

Before I start, I would once again like to thank my esteemed blogging colleague Laura of Miscellaneous Musings fame for giving me a heads-up whenever anything resembling a schedule is tacked up online; not only is she a tremendous help in this arena but she has also graciously proffered the missing episodes in my Lawman collection, so she’s good people in my book.  (That’s not an actual photograph of her on the left, by the way—but it was the best I could do on short notice.)  In her e-mail, Laura posited that the reason why the August schedule was up so quickly was “They must have wanted to clear the decks before the festival…”  (I have a hunch she’s right.)

Shall we go?  As always, the times given in these entries are EDT and all movies are subject to change at the merest whim of TCM…

August 1, Monday – The only two movies that I’ve not seen in this day-long hat doff to Marlon Brando are The Fugitive Kind (1960; 6am) and The Chase (1966; 10:30am) so I’m going to grab them both but the one I’m really pumped about recording is The Freshman (1990; 2am)—my sister Kat and I went to see this when it came out and you sort of have to know the two of us to understand that we rarely agree on movies.  (This is one of the few we are both enthusiastic about; the two of us hadn’t laugh so hard since The In-Laws, which was written by Freshman’s writer-director, Andrew Bergman.)  I also realize that there are a few dissenters out in the classic film crowd who blanche at the thought of TCM showing films of fairly recent vintage but as I have stated in the past if I can get grab an opportunity to get a letterboxed movie I will knock down anyone who’s in my way.  (Okay, maybe I wouldn’t really do that…I’d try to sidestep around you.)

August 2, Tuesday – Paulette Goddard day.  Over at her own blog, Laura laments how TCM hasn’t been able to score any of Goddard’s Paramount vehicles beyond such titles as Nothing But the Truth (1941; 10:30m), Reap the Wild Wind (1942; 10:15pm), The Crystal Ball (1943; 12:15pm) and Kitty (1945)—and the first title she mentions is one that I’ve been dying to revisit myself: Hold Back the Dawn (1941).  Saw it one time on—you kids will probably think I’m making this up, but it was before it became a four-letter-word—AMC and have been waiting not-so-patiently to see it again since it’s never been released on either VHS or DVD.  (In the entry for Dawn in his Classic Movies Guide Leonard Maltin advises “Catch this one.”  And how would we go about doing that, Len?)  I’d also like to see Bride of Vengeance (1949) before I shuffle off this mortal coil ‘cause I’ll bet Paulette would be sexy as all get out as Lucretia Borgia (even if she does suffer the handicap of having to act opposite John “Mayonnaise” Lund).

August 3, Wednesday – The Bette Davis Project.  I haven’t seen The Working Man (1933; 6am) or The Corn is Green (1945; 12mid) so I’ll put them in my cart…and for some odd reason every time I want to record Juarez (1939; 2:15pm) there’s a scheduling conflict.  Here’s hoping this will finally be resolved.  (As for Bureau of Missing Persons [1933], the Warner Archive must think I still have money or something.)

August 4, Thursday – “If I were king…if I were king.”  Honest to my grandma, I used to do a pretty good Ronald Colman impression before my surgery last year—now it sounds like Colman as done by Eddie “RochesterAnderson.  Good to see a couple of Ronnie’s silents here, one I already have (I bought Kino’s Constance Talmadge set on a whim a few months ago, and one of its features, Her Night of Romance [1924] is scheduled for 12:30am) and one I do not, 1926’s Kiki…which is scheduled to run at 11:30am and features Constance’s sis Norma.

August 5, Friday – John Garfield Day.  I own and have seen all the films scheduled (Juarez is one of the few I’m missing) but I can’t emphasize enough that for those of you who have never seen The Breaking Point (1950) you’ll get a chance to do so because it’s penciled in for 10pm.  As one of the world’s biggest (both in size and in devotion) Humphrey Bogart fans, Bogie’s To Have and Have Not pales in comparison to Point.  I’m deadly serious about this.

August 6, Saturday – Because Lucille Ball celebrates her centennial birthday on this date she’ll also be feted with a film tribute today—and there are some real goodies on tap that I have seen but do not have copies of: Dance, Girl, Dance (1940; 6:15pm) and both of her “Annabel” vehicles, The Affairs of Annabel (1938; 3:15am) and Annabel Takes a Tour (1938; 4:30am).  But this is also a good time to let interested readers (and bloggers who’d like to participate) know that Brandie, Carrie and Nikki of True Classics: The ABCs of Classic Film are going to throw a blogathon bash on that day in honor of the famous wacky redhead.  So if you’d like to pitch in and help, get thee hence to their blog and volunteer; I’m already on board as wanting in though I’m still mulling over what I’ll contribute (right now it’s a good bet that it will be something OTR-related, like maybe an essay on My Favorite Husband, since I’ll be covering I Love Lucy’s sixtieth anniversary for Edward Copeland in October).  True Classics has also made a few banners available to promote the blogathon; I liked this one but I went with another in the sidebar because my first choice wouldn’t fit:

August 7, Sunday – I generally don’t get too excited about a Ralph Bellamy movie unless he’s playing a hayseed (His Girl Friday [8pm], The Awful Truth [9:45pm]) or a mean essobee (The Professionals [4:45pm]) but they’ve scheduled some real rare gems on this date including Headline Shooter (1933; 9am), The Narrow Corner (1933; 2am) and—give it up for the El Brendel fans in the audience—West of Broadway (1931; 4:30am).  (One of these days they’ll put together a Bellamy tribute that will include Disorderlies and then you’ll really see classic movie fans storming Castle TCM.)

August 8, Monday – I couldn’t do an Orson Welles impersonation before or after my surgery, but I do have a tendency to say “I’m obediently yours…” on occasion.  But since I recorded F for Fake (1974) off of Flix a month or two back there’s not much else on the schedule I don’t already have or don’t want save for Mr. Arkadin (1955—I’m too cheap to buy the Criterion disc).

August 9, Tuesday – A day devoted to Ann Dvorak—and if it’s not proof that we live in a great country, I don’t know what else will convince you.  An embarrassment of riches to be had all day but I’m particularly jazzed at getting able to see A Stranger in Town (1933; 9am), Massacre (1934; 1pm) and Friends of Mr. Sweeney (1934; 2:15pm).

August 10, Wednesday – I was hoping that Ask Any Girl (1959) would turn up in the Shirley MacLaine tribute but I guess it was too much to, any girl.

August 11, Thursday – Can’t even begin to express how stoked I am to see an all-day ten-gallon hat salute to character great Ben Johnson but of the movies they’re showing I’ve either seen them or have copies in the TDOY archives.  If any one of these three—The Getaway (1972), Breakheart Pass (1975) or Bite the Bullet (1975)—were on the schedule it’d be far freaking fantastic (the last two have been on Encore Westerns but as great as that channel is they rarely show their movies in widescreen).

August 12, Friday – Claudette Colbert is in the spotlight, and even though I already have copies of The Secret Fury (1950; 10am), Three Came Home (1950; 11:30am) and It’s a Wonderful World (1939; 10pm) I’ll pass them along as recommendations if you haven’t seen them.

August 13, Saturday – Now we’re talking!  As part of a tribute to Jimmy Stewart TCM’s going to show The Last Gangster (1937; 6am), a good little flick that I saw roughly an ice age ago (before TCM, as a matter of fact) and wanted to revisit since then.  Yes, I could get a copy from the Warner Archive but that would mean I’d have to go without gruel for a week.

August 14, Sunday – Charles Laughton Day.  One of these days I’m going to fall into a pile of money and be able to buy the Criterion DVD of Spartacus (1960; 4:30pm) but until I take such a cash plunge I’ll just go ahead and set the recorder to get this one, as well as The Bribe (1949; 12:15pm).  (And come 10:15pm that evening, I’ll watch my favorite Charlie performance in 1954’s Hobson’s Choice.)

August 15, Monday – Again, I would have liked to seen The Blackbird (1926) on the schedule that fetes silent great Lon Chaney since I saw that one on TCM before I got the DVD recorder but Oliver Twist (1922; 9am) and The Monster (1926; 12:15pm) are on there so it won’t be a total loss.  If you look at the schedule at 5am you’ll see that London After Midnight (1927) has been penciled in but that’s the “reconstructed with stills” version that accompanies the box set TCM Archives: The Lon Chaney Collection.  I’m convinced that the crank that spread the rumor that LAM was found (only to be exposed as a first class Fruit Loop by Stacia) probably saw this on the schedule and thought it was the genuine article.

August 16, Tuesday – There are a number of movies on my Facebook chum Joanne Woodward’s daylong tribute that I’m curious to check out beginning with Rally ‘Round the Flag, Boys (1958; 7:45am), which Joanne made with hubby Paul Newman based on the book by Max Shulman, creator of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.  (In fact, Dwayne Hickman and Tuesday Weld are also in the film.)  The Newmans also appear in The Drowning Pool (1975; 2am), the sequel to the 1966 film Harper, and Mr. N directs Mrs. N in The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds (1972; 4am)…which I have not seen although I read the book as a youngster.  Other Joanne flicks I’ll be on the lookout for are Signpost to Murder (1964; 11:30am), A Fine Madness (1966; 2:45pm), Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams (1973; 4:30pm) and a movie that I enjoyed when it came out but the last time I watched it didn’t play as funny as it once did, Burt Reynolds’ The End (1978; 6pm).

August 17, Wednesday – Interestingly enough, the one Humphrey Bogart film I’m anxious to grab isn’t scheduled for today…more on this in a sec.

August 18, Thursday – I’ll come clean here and admit that when it comes to foreign cinema I’m pretty much a professional naïf but because I have seen French actor Jean Gabin in such films as Grand Illusion (1937; 10pm) and Le Bête Humaine (1938; 12mid) I’ll definitely want to check out more of his work.  I know for definite I’ll want to see Le Jour Se Leve (1939; 9:30am) and Pépé le Moko (1937; 8pm) but if there’s any other Gabin vehicles you feel are must-sees the comments section awaits.

August 19, Friday – Debbie Reynolds Day.  Won’t Mom be excited!

August 20, Saturday – Monty Clift Day.  Nothing here I haven’t already seen.

August 21, SundayCary Grant.  Ditto.

August 22, Monday – After giving the ol’ DVD recorder the weekend off it’s back to the grind for some Joan Crawford movies that I’ve technically already seen (with the exception of 1930s Montana Moon at 4:15am) but don’t have copies of and include Forsaking All Others (1934; 6am), Possessed (1931; 8pm—I thought they’d never get around to showing this one again), Sadie McKee (1934; 1am) and The Shining Hour (1938; 2:45am).  The biggest mother of them all!

August 23, Tuesday – A tribute to Conrad Veidt starts with a movie that stars Joan Crawford and is one of my favorite Joanie flicks, Above Suspicion (1943; 6am)…but the movies I’m pumped about seeing is one that TCM did schedule a while back and then yanked from the schedule, The Spy in Black (1939; 1:15pm).  Here’s hoping they don’t do a repeat on that but on the off chance they do I’ve still got Jew Süss (1934; 11:30am), The Hands of Orlac (1924; 8pm) and Nazi Agent (1942; 1:45am) for the taking.

August 24, Wednesday – Sweet!  A Joan Blondell film festival!  And much goodness to be had in the form of Central Park (1932; 8:30am), Lawyer Man (1932; 9:30am), We’re in the Money (1935; 1:30pm), He Was Her Man (1934; 6:30pm), Sinner’s Holiday (1930; 8pm) and Cry ‘Havoc’ (1943; 12:45am).  Oh, and they’ll also be showing one of few Bogart films I don’t have, Stand-In (1937; 11pm)—I did own this on DVD but when I saw an opportunity to sell my copy (which I never took out of the shrink wrap) on eBay for beaucoup bucks I did it faster than you can say “Show us what’s behind Door #3, lovely Carol Merrill…”  (If this movie had never turned up again on TV I’d probably still be regretting it but for the time being I don’t feel so bad.)

August 25, Thursday – Burt Lancaster Day.  I’ve been meaning to see The Leopard (1963; 8pm) for many years now, so it looks I’ll get a chance.  (“So impressed was I with this motion picture treatment of the Risorgimento that I went along to Somerset House and changed me own name to Leopard, preferring it to me original handle, 'Panther'…”*)

August 26, Friday – Peter Lawford.  “No, thanks…I was just looking…”

August 27, Saturday – A day of Linda Darnell films will offer up one of my favorites, 1949’s Everybody Does It (3am).  Also, I sold my copy of A Letter to Three Wives (1949; 8pm) a long time back so if I can record this it will be jim dandy.

August 28, Sunday – I’ll bet my friend Vince is dancing a jig because TCM’s devoting the day to his gal Carole Lombard.  No More Orchids (1932; 7:15am) and Hands Across the Table (1935; 10pm) are definitely on my recording agenda.

August 29, Monday – Anne Francis is in A Lion is in the Streets (1953; 2am), a James Cagney movie that was on my Warner Archive wish list but (heh heh) isn’t any more.  And I want to revisit 1965’s Brainstorm (12mid); I saw this movie as a kid but don’t remember too much about it but since William “The Man of a Thousand Voice” Conrad was in the director’s chair I almost have to see it again.

August 30, Tuesday – Films featuring Howard Keel.  This sort of makes me misty with nostalgia when I think of all the times Pam and I and our chat room friends would hang out and the women would poke fun at Howie’s enormous schwantzstucker baritone.

Like the July schedule, the August lineup is mysteriously missing the last day of the month—my theory is that the people who put up this schedule got the OK from their supervisors to take that day off provided they handed in their work on time.  Laura told me that July 31 will be devoted to Marlene Dietrich and though I don’t know what’s on the schedule if Blonde Venus (1932) gets a berth I’ll be the happiest blogger on Earth.

*Obligatory Monty Python reference.

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Marilyn said...

Ooo, ooo, Ronald Colman! He's so wonderful. You'll like The Corn Is Green, but I have to say that A Lion Is in the Streets was disappointing. I had a much better memory of it from one viewing back in the stone age; I bought the DVD and was really saddened by how rickety it was. I wish they would show Boy Meets Girl for Ralph Bellamy day. It's a great film that features Cagney and O'Brien at their best, IMHO.

Thanks for the round-up!

mndean said...

Gee, I tipped you to the August schedule on May 1 in comments. Guess I won't bother anymore.

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

Gee, I tipped you to the August schedule on May 1 in comments. Guess I won't bother anymore.

Well, I feel an explanation is in order -- I did this post on Saturday, before the July highlights piece posted and before you commented that the August schedule was up as well (I just programmed it to post today). I apologize profusely if I denied you credit -- I just didn't go back and re-edit the piece, and that was careless of me.

VP81955 said...


1. You never want to see me dance a jig (and it has nothing to do with my lack of Irishness).

2. I'd be even happier if TCM were running some channel premieres among its 15-film Lombard fare. How about "Big News" (1929), directed by Gregory La Cava some seven years before "My Man Godfrey"? Or "No One Man" or "Sinners In The Sun" (1932), neither of which are supposedly much of a film, but do show Carole cavorting with the likes of Paul Lukas and Ricardo Cortez in the former and Cary Grant (in a supporting role) in the latter? I'd take either over another showing of the creaky "The Racketeer" or the blah "Fools For Scandal," which furnishes proof that Warners had absolutely no feel for screwball whatsoever.

Rich said...

I'm excited about the Lucy-thon too - I've always been a fan of 'I Love Lucy' but I've never seen any of her movies. I've been looking through her IMDB entry, and I had no idea she did dramas or even film noir movies!

trueclassics said...

Thank you very much for mentioning the Lucy blogathon!! It's shaping up to be a great event and we're so excited to be hosting it.

Laura said...

You're very welcome! Thanks very much for the nice mention(s!).

Hope to get those LAWMAN shows recording next week, as soon as I finish my current recording project. :) Hope the move has gone well!

Best wishes,

Stacia said...

Thanks for posting -- there are El, Bette, and Marie movies in the line-up that TCM hasn't yet listed on the individual stars' pages. Until they get it fixed, I'm going to have to go through the schedule with a fine-toothed comb, I guess.

Also: You and me both on that Mr Arkadin cheapness. Should get it; probably won't.